Thought and Environment

Just getting back to normal at the moment after five days without power.

For those that missed it in the news, Queensland has taken quite a battering over the last week or so with heavy storms and wild weather. We live in quite an elevated position, so thankfully we were not flooded like many other people in Queensland. The city of Bundaberg, just north of Brisbane, was particularly hard hit.

Our suburb was subject to some pretty severe weather – including some pretty extreme wind gusts. One thing I really like about the area is the large blocks and the pleasant greenery. Unfortunately the trees in combination with the wind gusts led to hundreds of fallen power lines. In the region there were more than two thousand fallen lines and 300,000 households without power. Some people in our suburb are still waiting after six days.

The lack of electricity and the muddy water entering the main Southside treatment plant led to problems with mains water, with low levels in local reservoirs, but thankfully we did not lose water supply, although one adjacent suburb did.

After that many days without electricity I realised how much I had come to rely on electronic devices for distraction and entertainment! Cooking was fine. I had a good amount of camping equipment and thankfully some good books.

Now, getting back into writing involved finding a local council library that still had power (and air conditioning! The humidity after the rains stopped was pretty awesome).

The interesting thing about working in the local council library was how good it was. I found I really managed to focus on the work, despite the babbling toddlers and other punters all flocking there to check their email and take advantage of the free wi-fi. I had forgotten how well I usually work in new environments, like hotel rooms and cafes. I can switch off from the noise, so that’s not an issue.

I think what makes these environments so good for me is that they are ‘psychic blank slates’. My usual home and writing environment seems to come ‘pre-loaded’ with a whole set of feelings and thoughts that more often than not act as a barrier to getting work done and tuning into the world.

I did a motivational seminar once were the presenter said something along the lines of: ‘Each day we have around 27,000 thoughts. The only problem is that 97% of them are the same ones we had yesterday!’

I’m not sure about the numbers, but I know that getting into a completely new environment really works for me, screening out some of these ‘pre-loaded’ thoughts. Something that I had forgotten.

Do you work well in new environments?

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